The Patient Hobbyist

Half-page advert for British Fretwork Outfits, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, East Sussex, UK
Half-page advert for British Fretwork Outfits, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, East Sussex, UK

This week it’d be careless of me to not join my fellow GFNer simpleek in celebrating all things Dragon Age! (Please do check out her great post on Dragon Age Keep.)  I too have been looking forward to this game ever since it was first announced. And now begins the process of treading the Internet very lightly in the effort to avoid major spoilers about the game. And it is a process, let me tell you, because although our copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition is now resting comfortably in our household gaming stash, it’ll be several weeks before I really get to sink my teeth into it.

And that’s okay.

No, really…it’s okay. And I’m okay.

You’ve seen me type in this space before about how gaming is a very part-time hobby for me at the moment. About the only thing I’m gaming regularly on is my tablet, and it’s certainly not for the likes of a game like Dragon Age: Inquisition. Beyond that, I’ve probably got a dozen backlogged games that I’ve started in some manner. Some games I’ve barely dented, while others remain oh so close to being finished. I hope to complete them all one day, and I’ve no doubt that I will. But I’ve also no idea as to when that “someday” will be.

We the geeks, the nerds, the collectors, and the hopefuls, all carry different levels of devotion to our preferred hobbies. And one the things that sets the true fan apart from the sycophant is a willingness to accept that those levels can, and must, fluctuate. After all, there’s no wrong way to love something if you truly love it. Whether I’m admiring my cat from afar or getting right up in his face  to pinch his furry, whisker-y cheeks (at the risk of having my nose bitten clean off), I love him all the same.

This notion rings quite true with just about all my personal activities. Rare as they are, I have set aside days to only play video games, (I’ve done just that with Dragon Age: Inquisition and next month’s Christmas holiday.) but I’m mostly not playing because other priorities take, um…priority. Sometimes I love spending extended amounts of time in the kitchen creating all sorts of new dishes, but most of my time there is spent doing tired, utilitarian cooking because we gotta eat something. When the weather gets especially cold, I’ve enjoyed perfectly contented days snuggling up under a blanket with a knitting project, coffee, and music. When the weather’s not cold, I don’t give knitting much thought.  Would I blog more frequently if I could? You bet your boots I would! But I can’t, and that’s that.

Despite the varying degrees to which I get to game, cook, knit, blog, or accomplish any number of other “me” activities, they are still my hobbies, and I’d never consider them as anything less. There have been times when I’ve gotten do them lots and there have been times when I haven’t done them at all – that’s…well…that’s life.

Some of these ruminations have been brought on by changes that I’ve witnessed within my own social circle. In the words of Stevie Nicks, “Time makes you bolder. Children get older. I’m getting older too.” Yeah, sad as it may be, we’re all aging, and my friends and I have developed busy lives filled with spouses, careers, children, mortgages, and accidental death and dismemberment clauses. Yet, we all still identify with a variety of long-term hobbies – from gaming to music to sports. It’s pretty evident once everyone gets to talking that no matter what courses people’s lives takes, there remain some constants. Maybe you don’t game as often any more or skateboard as much as you used to or collect as many [insert collectible here] as you once did, but those activities still make up a part of your soul. They make you, yes YOU!, marvelous and unique and a whole hell of a lot of fun to be around. The key to maintaining your beloved hobbies is to be patient, because time always has a way of working out eventually.

That’s what I have in mind now as I stare at Dragon Age: Inqusition while having a boring yet necessary phone conversation my bank. Yes, I’ve got a lot to look forward to in Thedas what with all the exploring and the fighting and the saving and the relationshipping. At what point will I get to all that madness? To quote another famous wordsmith, Dark Helmet of Spaceballs, “When will then be now?”


Like what you’ve just read? Cary posts to Geek Force Network every Friday; and you can also find more words that she put together in paragraphs at Recollections of Play, United We Game, and 8bit Kitchen.

2 thoughts on “The Patient Hobbyist”

  1. I dove right into Inquisition on release day! I don’t know how you can be patient until next month to start up the game (I’m in awe of your sheer strength of willpower!), but you’re right. When you love something so much, you’ll get to it eventually. I’m lucky my life isn’t SO busy that I can’t fit in a few minutes or an hour there of playtime. I agree, no matter how busy or life changes, I’ll make time for my hobbies. I really can’t see myself giving up on them now! 🙂

    1. I’m not sure if it’s willpower as much as my rigid belief in finding the proper time to game that’s keeping me away from Inquisition at the moment! For a game like that, I know that I won’t get much out of it until I have a solid block of several hours when I won’t be disturbed. That’s something I just don’t have right now…but I’ve planned for it! (Sad as it sounds.) But, that has a big downside too — avoiding the Internet for spoilers! We all know that’s no easy task. Honestly though, by the time I get to Inquisition, everyone will be onto the next game, and I’ll be able to quest in peace.

      Sometimes enjoying a hobby is simply about finding the right time to do it. 🙂

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